Monday, 2 February 2015

Hearty Buckwheat Gnocchi

Hi to everyone!
After a long time of my housemate not giving up on trying to persuade me to actually start a cooking blog I've finally done it and actually (technically, that's it) managed to write my first blogpost which even includes a table. That's stunning for me ;-) I hope you can see it all alright! Please excuse any mistakes or anything that look out of place...

My first recipe for you is one including buckwheat.
Buckwheat, huh? Have I confused you there?

In case you have not heard of that: buckwheat is actually a seed and not a grain and is gluten-free even though the name suggests otherwise. It has a quite hearty flavour and is good for any main courses, but maybe, from my point of view, not so much for sweets and desserts. You can cook the grains and eat them in salads and lots of other dishes, make porridge, or - as here -  grind them into a flour. Buckwheat flour is, I guess, available also from health food stores just as buckwheat itself. As the grain is rather soft grinding it should be possible with most blenders, though.

If you've gone through all this and now finally have gotten hold of some buckwheat this is a recipe that requires relatively few ingredients.
I have to admit that I needed some motivation before I started making this today, as I still had frozen potato soup and ...well, but, no, the thought of buckwheat gnocchi definitely was more appealing.

Buckwheat Gnocchi - here with Tomato Sauce with Fresh Rocket

125 gbuckwheat or buckwheat flour
+ some for dusting
1/4 tspsalt
nearly boiling water

When preparing your meal start with the dough for the gnocchi, as it benefits from resting for a short while, which it can perfectly do while you get started on the sauce you want to have with your gnocchi.

For the gnocchi themselves you only need three ingredients.
The rest is up to you, as these are very versatile. So if you'd like to brown them in a bit of butter, make some tomato sauce, have some leftover pesto or anything else you think would go with them you can take it from there.

For the gnocchi:
  • Grind the buckwheat in a blender or measure out your buckwheat flour. Mix with salt in a bowl. Heat up some water so that it is close to boiling. This is important, as otherwise the buckwheat won't absorb the moisture as nicely.
For the next step it's actually easiest to use any appliance than can mix dough, as the dough gets quite sticky and is hard to stir. If you fancy some exercise though or have someone there who is happy to help you ;-) use a heat-resistant bowl and a heavy-duty spoon that doesn't bend (like a wooden spoon or metal spoon, but not plastic).

  • Now, very slowly, add splash for splash of hot water and keep stirring. Do this until all flour is just incorporated and forms a soft dough. Then do not (!) add any more water, as otherwise you will end up with a sticky mess. Keep stirring for a bit longer, so you can be sure that the dough is all smooth. The amount of water you need can vary from day to day as it depends on circumstances like the humidity of the air. (I forgot to take a photo at that point, sorry for that!)
  • Using a spoon place the dough in a bowl, smooth the surface, so that the dough doesn't dry more than necessary and cover with a lid, a plate or foil wrap. Leave this to rest for 20 - 30 mins.
  • In the meantime bring some water for boiling the gnocchi to a boil.
  • Prepared Gnocchi
  • Take a large cutting board, a non-stick baking mat or a plastic placemat and, through a sieve, dust lightly with additional buckwheat flour or normal flour (if you don't mind it not being gluten-free). For the amount mentioned above I recommend dividing the dough in two sets for forming the gnocchi. Take dough out of the bowl and place on the dusted surface. Dust with more flour. On the flour-covered board roll each portion into a rope of about 1.5 cm in diameter. Then take a glass with water and a knife, wet the knife often (after every few cuts) and cut the ropes into 1.5 cm wide pieces. Make sure that all pieces get placed on flour-covered patches so that they don't stick to the surface. Also make sure that you use a knife suitable to your surface so you don't damage e.g. your baking mat.

  • When you've completed this make sure your sauce is ready, put salt in your boiling cooking water (about 1 tsp per litre) and gently (best with your hands, but beware from splashing water) drop the gnocchi in the boiling water (I recommend doing this in two batches). Make sure the water actually returns to a boil. When the gnocchi rise to the surface they are done. Fish them out of the pot using a slotted spoon.
  • Technically they are done now!
What I usually do is that I place all cooked gnocchi directly in the pot with the sauce which I then, having added all gnocchi, let simmer for a minute so that the gnocchi can immerse in the flavour of the sauce.

As mentioned the gnocchi go really well with tomato sauce.
Today, there was rocket in my tomato sauce, but feel free to add anything you like, such as parmesan or, if frying the gnocchi in butter, maybe some caramelised onions.

Let me know how this worked out for you if you tried it please! =)

1 comment:

  1. Gerade habe ich es ausprobiert! Die Zutatenliste ist ja sehr überschaubar und eigentlich auch recht simpel zu machen =) Ich habe es zusammen mit Paprika, Tomate und Parmesan in der Pfanne gemacht und es ist wirklich lecker ! Ausserdem ist es irgendwie total cool, Gnocchi selber zu machen!
    Vielen Dank für dieses tolle Rezept!